Long after the show ended — 1993 — Dawn Wells penned “Mary Ann’s Gilligan’s Island Cookbook,” which features food that the characters might have eaten while stranded on the island. Expect lots of coconut dishes. There is also “Gilligan’s Stew,” “Ginger’s Snaps,” and something called a “Shipwreck Sandwich.”
A few other people joined in the writing, including Ken Beck and Jim Clark, and Bob Denver, Gilligan’s actor, even wrote the foreword. In case you’re wondering, yes, there is a recipe for the coconut pies that Mary Ann cooks for Gilligan during the show. There are also stories, photos, and anecdotes from Wells’s time on the show.
The real locations
The harbor that we see “The Minnow” sail away from in the opening credits (in the colorized seasons, at least) is really the harbor at Newport Beach in California. The cave that Gilligan sometimes hid in to get away from the struggles of the island is also a real cave, a little south of Newport Beach at Corona del Mar.
Even today, it's known by locals as “Gilligan's cave.” Of course, the island, for the most part, was a studio set, something that is quite apparent to modern viewers for any number of reasons, but the most obvious was the fake backdrop.
The cast never got to escape the island during the show
With the sudden cancellation of Gilligan’s Island, the show never reached its ending (since it was supposed to go on for a fourth season). Eventually, the crew decided to tie up loose ends from the last episode of season 3, which ended just like the rest, with the castaways still stranded on the island.
In the 1978 made-for-television movie Rescue from Gilligan's Island, we finally see the castaways successfully leaving the island, and dealing with the difficulty of reintegrating into society. The movie was very well received, and fans were delighted that the show’s story didn’t end yet. A second movie called Castaways on Gilligan’s Island was announced shortly after and released a year later in 1979.
Everything had to be made from wood and coconuts
Since the entire premise of the show was that the cast had to survive on a deserted island, all props had to be made from either wood or coconuts. This posed a major challenge, as everything from the chairs and up to the foot pedal-powered car had to be made from only these 2 materials.
This has become a trend on eBay where you can actually get many “Gilligan’s Island Props,” which are basically regular everyday objects that are made of wood and coconuts. It sounds like a great investment for anyone who wants to star in his own Gilligan’s Island fan show.
The entire premise of the show was invented at a public speaking class
Just like many of us had to do for our English class essay at one time or another, Sherwood Schwartz, then a student at a public speaking class at New York University, was asked by his professor to write a speech answering the simple question — “If you were stranded on a deserted island, what one item would you like to have?”
Schwartz let that question sink deep into his mind. Years later, after becoming a successful writer on various TV shows, he pitched the idea to CBS, and the show got greenlit. The idea that a show like this would develop from such an unexpected place just goes to show that you never know where inspiration might strike!